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OLC4O, Literacy

OLC4O, Grade 12, Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course

 

Policy Document:  The Ontario Curriculum Literacy Course OSSLC, 2008 Ministry of Education of Ontario

Reference: https://edu.gov.on.ca/eng/curriculum/secondary/english12curr.pdf

Course Description

To participate fully in the society and workplace of the twenty-first century, today’s students will need to be able to use language skilfully and confidently.  The Ontario curriculum recognizes the central importance of reading and writing skills in learning across the curriculum and in everyday life, and prepares students for the literary demands they will face in their post – secondary endeavours.  To ensure that they have the essential competencies in reading and writing that they will need to succeed at school, at work, and in daily life, students in Ontario must demonstrate those skills as a requirement for graduation.
The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course (OSSLC) is a full-credit Grade 12 course that is offered as a part of the English program to provide students with intensive support in achieving the required reading and writing competencies.  The reading and writing competencies required by the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) form the instructional assessment core of the course.

Prerequisite: Students who have been eligible to write the OSSLT at least twice and who have been unsuccessful at least once are eligible to take the course. (Students who have already met the literacy requirement for graduation may be eligible to take the course under special circumstances, at the discretion of the principal.)

Summary of Units and Timelines

            Below is the suggested sequence of course unit delivery as well as the recommended number of hours to complete the respective unit.  For complete details of targeted expectations within each unit and activity, please see each Unit Overview found in the course profile.

 

Unit Order

Unit Name

Suggested Time

Unit 1

Introduction to Literacy

25 hours

Unit 2

Developing our Reading Skills

25 hours

Unit 3

Developing our Writing Skills

25 hours

Unit 4

Enhancing our Oral Literacy Skills

25 hours

Unit 5

Course Culminating Activities

10 hours

 

 

Total: 110 hours

 Fundamental Concepts Covered in This Course

The expectations in the compulsory courses of the English curriculum are organized in four strands, or broad areas of learning: Oral Communication, Reading and Literature Studies, Writing, and Media Studies. The program in this course is designed to develop a range of essential skills in these four interrelated areas, built on a solid foundation of knowledge of the conventions of standard English and incorporating the use of analytical, critical, and meta-cognitive thinking skills. Students learn best when they are encouraged to consciously monitor their thinking as they learn, and each strand includes expectations that call for such reflection. The knowledge and skills described in the expectations in the four strands of the language curriculum will enable students to understand, respond to, create, and appreciate a full range of literary, informational, and media texts. The areas of learning are closely interrelated, and the knowledge and skills described in the four strands are interdependent and complementary. Teachers plan activities that blend expectations from the four strands in order to provide students with the kinds of experiences that promote meaningful learning and that help them recognize how literacy skills in the four areas reinforce and strengthen one another.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

            Teachers will bring enthusiasm and varied teaching and assessment approaches to the classroom, addressing individual students’ needs and ensuring sound learning opportunities for every student.  The activities offered should enable students to relate and apply these concepts to the social, environmental, and economic conditions and concerns of the world in which they live.  Opportunities to relate knowledge and skills to these wider contexts will motivate students to learn in a meaningful way and to become life-long learners.

               The English curriculum is based on the premise that all students can be successful language learners. One of the keys to student success in mastering language skills is high-quality instruction. Teachers who provide quality instruction respect students’ strengths and address their learning needs, using assessment information to plan instruction. They clarify the purpose for learning, help students activate prior knowledge, and differentiate instruction for individual students and small groups according to need. Teachers explicitly teach and model learning strategies and encourage students to talk through their thinking and learning processes. They also provide many opportunities for students to practise and apply their developing knowledge and skills. Effective teaching approaches involve students in the use of higher-level thinking skills and encourage them to look beyond the literal meaning of texts and to think about fairness, equity, social justice, and citizenship in a global society.

 

Online & Offline Components

            The design of this course is intended to offer a rich balance between online and offline elements.  The following is a summary of the course components and their delivery format.  Please refer to the individual unit outlines for specific details.

Course content & instruction: online

Communication between teacher and students: online & offline

Collaboration between students: online

Assessment & evaluation: online & offline

Practise exercises, textbook work, readings etc: offline

Assessment & Evaluation for Student Achievement

 

            The primary purpose of assessment and evaluation is to improve student learning.  Information gathered through assessment helps teachers to determine students’ strengths and weaknesses in their achievement of the curriculum expectations in each course.  This information also serves to guide teachers in adapting curriculum and instructional approaches to students’ needs and in assessing the overall effectiveness of programs and classroom practices.  As part of assessment, teachers provide students with descriptive feedback that guides their efforts towards improvement.

            Evaluation refers to the process of judging the quality of student work on the basis of established criteria, and assigning a value to represent that quality.  All curriculum expectations must be accounted for in instruction, but evaluation focuses on students’ achievement of the overall expectations.  A students’ achievement of the overall expectations is evaluated on the basis of his or her achievement of related specific expectations.  Teachers will use their professional judgement to determine which specific expectations should be used to evaluate achievement of overall expectations, and which ones will be covered in instruction and assessment but not necessarily evaluated.

            In order to ensure that assessment and evaluation are valid and reliable, and that they lead to the improvement of student learning, teachers must use assessment and evaluation strategies that:

  • Address both what students learn and how well they learn;
  • Are based both on the categories of knowledge and skills and on the achievement level descriptions given in the achievement chart
  • Are varied in nature, administered over a period of time, and designed to provide opportunities for students to demonstrate the full range of their learning;
  • Are appropriate for the learning activities used, the purposes of instruction, and the needs and experiences of the students;
  • Are fair to all students;
  • Accommodate students with special education needs, consistent with the strategies outlined in their Individual Education Plan;
  • Accommodate the needs of students who are learning the language of instruction;
  • Ensure that each student is given clear directions for improvement;
  • Promote students’ ability to assess their own learning and to set specific goals
  • Include the use of samples of students’ work that provide evidence of their achievement;
  • Are communicated clearly to students and parents at the beginning of the school year and at other appropriate points throughout the school year.

            The achievement chart for science outlines four categories of knowledge and skills.  They include; knowledge and understanding, thinking and investigation, communication and application.  Teachers will ensure that student work is assessed and/or evaluated in a balanced manner with respect to the four categories, and that achievement of particular expectations is considered within the appropriate categories.

            A final grade is recorded for this course, and a credit is granted and recorded for this course if the student’s grade is 50% or higher.  The final grade for this course will be determined as follows:

  • Seventy percent of the grade will be based on evaluations conducted throughout the course.  This portion of the grade should reflect the student’s most consistent level of achievement throughout the course, although special consideration should be given to more recent evidence of achievement. The 70% will be distributed in the following achievement chart categories: 20% knowledge and understanding, 20% application, 15% communication, 15% thinking. Student work will be assessed and evaluated in a balanced manner with respect to the four categories within each unit throughout the course.
  • Thirty percent of the grade will be based on a final evaluation in the form of a written examination and a media and oral portfolio completed towards the end of the course.

Accommodations

            All students can succeed.  Some students are able, with certain accommodations, to participate in the regular course curriculum and to demonstrate learning independently.  Accommodations allow access to the course without any changes to the knowledge and skills the student is expected to demonstrate.  The accommodations required to facilitate the student’s learning must be identified in his or her Individual Education Plan (IEP).  Instruction based on principles of universal design and differentiated instruction focuses on the provision of accommodations to meet the diverse needs of learners.

            Examples of accommodations (but not limited to) include:

  • Adjustment and or extension of time required to complete assignments or summative tasks
  • Providing alternative assignments or summative tasks
  • Use of scribes and/or other assistive technologies
  • Simplifying the language of instruction

Resources

 

            Teachers will bring additional resources and teaching materials that provide a rich and diverse learning environment.  Units in this course profile make specific reference to a variety of readings required for this course but can be substituted for any relevant and approved text.

 

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